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SustainAbility Newsletter

Sustainable Demonstration Project at Scotland Yards Golf Club Taking Shape

clubhouseatscotlandyards.jpg

With the economy still in the doldrums, a group of business and non-profit organizations has come together with an 18 hole golf course in Florida to demonstrate that embedding and embracing the tenets of sustainability regardless of the size and budget of the golf course will provide economic viability and  provide a foundation upon which to deliver environmental and social benefits.

Audubon Lifestyles is coordinating the project at the Scotland Yards Golf Club, located between the small citrus towns of Zephyrhills and Dade City, and within easy driving distance of both Orlando and Tampa, Florida. Florida has been one of the states most impacted by the downturned economy, and so it made perfect sense to our team to prove the potential to doubters of sustainability by implementing sustainable management practices on a golf facility in a location that has been hardest hit with tough times.

David Rinaldo, General Manager of Scotland Yards said, “The past several years has been a real challenge to the entire golf industry, and our course certainly hasn’t been any exception." 

The Rinaldo family built and opened the course in the 1970’s and sold the course several years ago.  But, as is often the case, that business transaction didn’t work out, and the Rinaldo's now find themselves reacquiring their old family course again.

“While we certainly care about the environment, if we can’t maintain a financially viable business, we simply would not be able to continue to function.  We were very exited to learn about the benefits of operating more sustainably, and couldn’t be  happier to become involved as a demonstration project that showcases sustainability on golf courses.” Rinaldo continued. 

Eric Dodson, CEO of Audubon Lifestyles has pulled together a small, but growing group of businesses that have agreed to contribute their time, expertise, products and services to the project. 

“We hope that we can prove to other golf facility owners who may be struggling in this economy that it doesn’t matter what how big or small your golf facility’s operating budget is— that it just makes financial sense to embrace the sustainability opportunities that are available in the market right now.”  Dodson says.

David Rinaldo has agreed to implement the recommended actions developed through the project, and to document the results over time. 

Ron Dodson  of the Dodson Group llc, a consulting firm who has agreed to participate in this project  said, “The main focus of the Sustainable Demonstration Project at Scotland Yards Golf Club is on economic viability.  Simply stated that means ‘make more, spend less’ . We believe that there are some adjustments that can be made regarding the overall management of the golf course, which will not only reduce expenditures, but improve the overall quality of the golf course.  With reduced expenditures, coupled with improved quality, it is our belief that the course will see increased play.  Increased play means more income.”

At present the groups who have agreed to participate in the Sustainable Demonstration Project at Scotland Yards Golf Club are:  Audubon Lifestyles, who will serve as lead project coordinator; True North Outdoors from Kansas City, Kansas who will provide sustainable landscape management advice and services;  Love & Dodson, based in College Park, Maryland who will take the lead in the sustainable planning, design and development for the project; Turf Feeding Systems as a producer of fertigation systems based in Houston, Texas has agreed to donate a fertigation system;  The Dodson Group llc who will offer sustainability and environmental consulting including mapping the entire course, and; Trusty & Associates based in Council Bluffs, Iowa who will provide Public Relations and Marketing Firm.

If your business or organization is inerested in joining our growning team, and is interested in becoming an active participant in our efforts at Scotland Yards please contact:  Eric Dodson  at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 727-733-0762


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References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:
Audubon Lifestyles
www.audubonlifestyles.org 
  
The International Sustainability Council
www.thesustainabilitycouncil.org 
  

The Cornell Lab
birds.cornell.edu

Small Business Trends
www.smallbiztrends.com              

Sanford Golf Design
www.sanfordgolfdesign.com

Scotland Yards Golf Club
http://www.scotlandyards.com

Technorati
www.technorati.com

Turf Feeding Systems
www.turffeeding.com

Love and Dodson
www.loveanddodson.com              

The Dodson Group
www.thedodsongrp.com      

To learn about sponsorship opportunities please call us at: 727-733-0762
This Issue of the SustainAbility Newsletter sponsored in part by:

The Dodson Group

SustainAbility Newsletter Archive Article (random)

Two Big Benefits of Using Organic Fertilizers

Organic FertilizerThe U.S. Department of Agriculture sets the regulations by which fertilizer products obtain certification as “organic”.

The use of organic fertilizers is currently the topic of hot debates in most gardening, lawn care, and commercial recreation circles. Many who support the use of synthetic fertilizers exclusively believe that while organic fertilizers may be naturally derived they do not have enough advantages to use over chemical fertilizers. On the contrary, we believe that organic fertilizers do have many advantages.

There are two tremendous benefits to using an Organic Fertilizer.

1) Plant Growth
Organic fertilizers provide nutrients necessary for plant growth, with the benefit of being slower-acting and gentler than chemical fertilizers, so that you are less likely to overfeed and chemically burn your plants. Organic fertilizers are not in a form that is immediately absorbed by plants, but rather must be first broken down by soil bacteria and fungi into forms that plants can absorb. This means that, unlike chemical fertilizers, organic fertilizers are not easily washed away in a heavy rainstorm or irrigation session, and that the plants get the benefit of nutrients for growth more evenly over a longer period of time rather than all at once.

2) Soil Improvement
Organic fertilizers help improve soil structure and nutrient content over time. While chemical fertilizers simply add water-soluble chemicals which are either absorbed by the plant roots or leach away, potentially polluting water resources, organic fertilizers add organic matter that helps the soil to retain moisture and nutrients. Sandy soils in particular can benefit from the addition of organic fertilizers, or from the use of organic matter like well-rotted compost and manure used as a soil fertility additive or mulch. These latter organic matter fertilizers have the added advantage of often being free from livestock farms, poultry farms or wood-processing facilities which compost their discarded bedding and wood chips.

 


 

Some Additional Benefits of Organic Fertilizers

Slow Release of Nutrients
When fertilizers are mixed into the soil, the nutrients are absorbed from the soil by the roots of the plant. In synthetic fertilizers, these nutrients are in ready to use form and when mixed into the soil, can be immediately absorbed by the roots and hence, the plant. There is however a real danger that the roots absorb more nutrients than necessary, causing the roots and plant to burn up. On the other hand, organic fertilizers do not contain nutrients in an easily usable form. When they are mixed into the soil, the microorganisms like bacteria that are in the soil, have to work on the fertilizer, break it up and release the nutrients. This is a slow process and so there is no danger that too many nutrients are ever available to the plant. As such there is low chance for a ‘plant burn’ when organic fertilizers are used.

Long-term Benefits to the Soil
Chemical fertilizers are manufactured with the sole purpose of helping the growth of a plant. As a result while they may contain a better balance of all the major nutrients that a plant needs, they also contain certain harmful elements that can cause acidity in the soil. This can kill the helpful microbes that live in the soil and studies indicate that long-term use of chemical fertilizers can cause great damageto the soil. On the other hand, since organic fertilizers need these microbes to work on them to release the nutrients, they end up stimulating the growth of these microorganisms, ensuring long-term fertility of the soil.

Long-term Benefits to the Environment
Synthetic fertilizers also tend to release many chemicals into the soil that contain nutrients helpful to soil but may also contain elements that are not easily biodegradable. These may go on to contaminate our lands and our water. On the other hand, by definition, organic fertilizers almost always have only biodegradable contents.

Cheap and Cost-Effective
Organic Fertilizers can be produced at home or on farms by using a mix of cow, sheep, chicken, and horse manure along with wastes like leaves and dead plants. This is a great way of getting rid of waste from your garden or farm and certainly a cheaper alternative to purchasing chemical fertilizers.

Safety
When lawns and gardens are sprayed with chemical fertilizers, one has to be careful that the family members, especially kids and pets who often play on lawns, do not ingest the harmful chemicals. However, there is no preventing from local wildlife from being affected. Organic fertilizers can be a safer alternative.

As with all things,  there is no one size fits all, and in many instances the use of a synthetic fertilizer may prove to be more effective. However, if you take the time to learn about your specific needs and truly understand the needs of your lawn, turf, garden or management zone you will have a healthy, safe, water and energy efficient landscape in no time!   

 


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References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles
www.audubonlifestyles.org 
             
The International Sustainability Council
www.thesustainabilitycouncil.org 

Sustainable Demonstration Project Blog
scotlandyardsgolf.blogspot.com

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games
www.olympic.org

Scotland Yards Golf Club
www.scotlandyards.com

Audubon Outdoors
www.audubonoutdoors.org

Love and Dodson
www.loveanddodson.com

Green World Parth
www.greenworldpath.com

Turf Feeding Systems
www.turffeeding.com

The Dodson Group
www.thedodsongrp.com      

To learn about sponsorship opportunities please call us at: 727-733-0762
This Issue of the SustainAbility Newsletter sponsored in part by:

The Dodson Group

$25 Annually $100 Annually $250 Reg / $100 Annually


SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITY

Sponsors are a critically important part to the success of ISC-Audubon. As a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating sustainability, we offer all of our programs to our members free of charge, and are publicly available for download on our website.

ISC-Audubon is proud to extend the opportunity to select businesses and organizations to become sponsors of our sustainability education and advocacy programs. As a sponsor, your business or organization can realize significant value.

Click here to learn more about this opportunity. 

 
 

A Coalition for Good - Spreading the Seeds of Sustainability

ISC-Audubon is a coalition of non-profit organizations and initiatives that include The International Sustainability Council (ISC), Audubon Lifestyles, Audubon Outdoors, Planit Green, Broadcast Audubon, and the Audubon Network for Sustainability. 

Funds generated through memberships and donations are used to provide fruit & vegetable seeds, wildflower seed mix, and wildlife feed & birdseed to urban and suburban communities around the world. These seeds are used by communities to establish fruit and vegetable gardens, bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and for the beautification of urban and suburban landscapes by creating flower and native plant gardens.

Read more

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